Inside Fidor, the fintech bank run by its customers

By Wired Money

Since its rise in 2008, fintech has been touted as a major threat to the traditional banking processes, and one of the disruptive tech’s pioneers has been Fidor.

Fidor Bank is a digital bank founded in Germany in 2009. It was revolutionary at launch because it focused on letting its customers actively participate in the bank’s decision-making. It made its foray into the UK market in 2015.

Speaking at the WIRED Money conference in London, Fidor Bank’s CEO Kröner quipped his firm is the “world’s oldest fintech bank.” It acts as a “holistic financial service marketplace” and mixes fintech solutions with “more traditional solutions”, to make it “far more accessible for the customer”.

In particular, Fidor Bank specialises in the internet-based retail of financial services for the vast private client business. Kröner is responsible for the company’s investor relations, corporate communications, strategic development and communities.

The bank’s mission is fourfold – creating, better banking, digital and “world”. This involves “customer centric banking”, “driving innovation as an entrepreneur”, focusing on speed, data and mobile offerings, as well as ensuring its services are borderless and have “no geographical restrictions”.

Fidor has a German license that also applies across Europe, and treats its community of users as “co-managers”.

“If you treat your customer as a co-manager, they act as a co-manager,” says Kröner. “We always speak to our community before we change any of our products. We need to improve our interest rates – we ask them what we do. We ask them what the product should contain, what we should call it.”

Because of this, Fidor says it has fewer customer enquiries because of peer-to-peer sharing, fewer costs, higher loyalty and is able to educate its customers on finance.

“Our key mission is integration in whatever way possible,” said Kröner. “Collaboration, co-management…it’s open and it’s efficient.” Disruption must be “mass market relevant”, he continued, and Fintech is not disruptive because it’s not used by a mass market today.

“Innovation means acceptance by the customer. There is no innovation without acceptance by the customer.”

First appeared at Wired